Today’s blog is about one of the most famous verses regarding the link between healing and how our soul needs to prosper, found in 3 John 1 v 2
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1:2
3 John 1:2 tells us that it’s God’s will to heal, and in order for our healing to be manifest, our soul has to prosper. Today we consider why and how.
HOW DOES YOUR SOUL PROSPER?
Let’s dive in.
I love that this verse starts of by addressing us in our identity in Christ. We are ‘a beloved child of God’ 1 John 3:1.
When John baptised Jesus, God says ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ John is reminding you and I that we too are God’s beloved. Knowing the love of God is always the first step on our healing journey.
SEE RECEIVE THE FATHER’S HEART. STEP 1 IN HEALING
There is much doubt in the body of Christ today in the area of God’s willingness to heal. This is so sad and not accurate.
John knew the heart of Jesus so is more than qualified to know God’s will for our lives. It’s God’s will we prosper in our soul and in all things
PROSPER (euodoo in Greek): to succeed, to flourish, to grow, to achieve, to thrive….. I think you get the gist.
ALL THINGS: relationships, marriage, parenthood, finances, career, physical and health, joy, peace, security, mindset, attitudes, character….
Why would God want you to thrive and succeed in all things and it not include healing?
Health and healing is even emphasised AND be in health. Just in case anyone out there still doubted that prosperity didn’t include healing.
I find it interesting that John says ‘be in health’ in addition to healing.
When you learn to walk in divine health, you’re walking out the healing from a place of wholeness.
If we learn to see ourselves well, we identify with Christ. This is our identity, hence ‘be’. John is calling forth our character, mindset and state of being.
Our identity is the foundation of a prospering soul.
We are a spirit, with a mind, will, emotions and a body. This diagram might help a little, to understand how the Holy Spirit in you, heals you.
WE ARE TRIPARTITE
The healing is already within us but in order to reach the physical body, the Holy Spirit travels through our soul. That is, our mind, will, emotions.
Most preachers would say that sin, disobedience, an unrenewed mind, lack of faith etc etc, stop our soul from prospering. I find this a little unfair.
There are plenty of faith filled and obedient Christians, reading their Bibles daily, yet not prospering in their soul.
Neuroscientists say that when we experience ‘trauma’, it significantly affects our mind and emotions. The experience causes our soul to fracture. In fact, Paul Scanlon says
Our souls are dismantled from birth and we must reassemble them as we age.
We end up being someone that God never intended. There is a gap between our authentic selves and the person we’ve become.
Healing is all about returning to who we originally were (as in when God laid the foundations of the earth and he saw us) that’s the version of us that’s authentic.
When we’re born, we enter into family dynamics, with parents who are less than perfect and we’re surrounded by systems, societal norms and external expectations.
In addition we encounter stresses and traumas, non of which are under our control.
In order to navigate our survival , we develop coping strategies, patterns, ways of being, which are not in alignment with your true self.
For some of us, our nervous systems gradually shut down and become dysregulated. The trauma or stress is stored in the body.
Neuroscientists say this dysregulation causes sickness. Can we allow God, by His Spirit, to lead us, usually one step at a time, back to who we really are? This to me is soul prosperity.
So, if I want a healing in my body, I must reassemble my soul.
In fact, some mindbody doctors comment on how we need to become a completely different person to the one who existed when the illness first developed. All of this takes time.
So, is your soul prospering?
If lack of soul prosperity is to do with not being who God intended you to be, then soul prosperity is the opposite. How in alignment with your authenticity are you?
As a counsellor, I became aware and also amazed, just at how out of alignment we all are. We live in an age where we put our image to the world ahead of everything else and make it our identity,
We gain our self esteem from the number of social media likes we get or how popular we are. Some pursue ‘the in crowd’ because this gives them a sense of importance. Others gain their approval from productivity and business.
There are people who need to please others just to feel safe in the world, and others who refuse to show emotion or vulnerability because this ‘makes them weak’.
We’ve become who we think we need to be to thrive in this world. But it’s false and not what God intended for us.
Some people live in the world of superiority and that’s their norm. Others have inferiority and think others are better. They are so used to living this way, it’s ‘normal’ to them. Soul prosperity is coming back to ourselves.
Trauma and accumulated stress cause a dysregulated nervous system. When this happens, we’re more likely to have outbursts of anger or worry. Feelings of hopelessness and shame are also common.
Doing things quickly or zoning out, irregular eating patterns and irritability are other signs that your nervous system is out or wack.
So here are a few ways we can begin coming into soul prosperity.
WALK IN THE TRUTH
Further along this passage, in 3 John 1:4, John talks of walking in the truth. To me, if we walk in our truth, then we’re being transparent and as authentic as we can.
You see, if MY true self is one thing, but the person I’m presenting to the world is another, there’s an inner conflict.
This verse though, labels truth with the definite article. The truth.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
This must surely refer to the Truth of the Gospel, Jesus Christ. Are we walking in The Truth?
In order to know and believe in the love of God, and in order to understand and live out who you are in Christ, Biblical meditation is our priority.
Scripture is God breathed. We cannot seperate God’s will for our lives, his desire, his love for us from the Bible. Prayer without Scripture falls on dead ground.
The Word of God feeds our soul. So if I want my soul to prosper, this is food and medicine for me.
B. KNOW YOUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST
We are forgiven. This is a state of being for each of us that have received Jesus. So if we’re beating ourselves up for wrongdoing, then we’re not walking in the truth of who we are in Christ.
Our true authentic self is in alignment with who we are in Christ.
The Bible says that we are no longer sinners, but sons and daughters. So if we’re approaching God’s throne as though we’re still sinners, then we’re not owning our identity in Christ.
See ARE YOU CLOTHED IN CHRIST OR CLOTHED IN SICKNESS?
We are blessed…accepted…loved….anointed…chosen…
(Image: Rebekah Ballagh Journey to Wellness)
C. FAITHFUL WORKS
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘Are you walking the walk, or just talking the talk?’ It’s so easy to just say what you know the right thing is but actually living it out is another matter.
Our actions and words need to be in sync.
Faith without works is dead.
If our life doesn’t reflect our faith or our identity in Christ, then we’re not walking in the Truth. It’s not about performance in terms of legalism.
Actions follow beliefs. When our hearts are right, then your actions will be too.
D. LOVING ONE ANOTHER
If we continue with the passage, 3 John 5-8
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you…..We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.
3 John 5-8
Are we loving others, both in and outside of the church? Are we kind, generous, helpful etc? Or will we only do something for someone if we expect some kind of payment?
Do you think well of people and forgive them when they offend?
In the world, people usually won’t do anything for nothing. In God’s kingdom, we serve others and treat others well because that’s what Jesus would do.
We are Christ’s ambassadors, His hands and feet. Again, this isn’t about earning, but about being. Our actions of love will show this.
Incidentally, mental health experts show us that serving others is good for our mental wellbeing. It boosts happy hormones, which help regulate our nervous systems.
NERVOUS SYSTEM REGULATION
Meditating on the Word of God is a wonderful tool to help our systems coming into regulation. There are times when I feel particularly distressed about something, and after I spend time reading or praying, I sense a calmness.
Some people receive a healing on the basis of reading the Bible alone. Derek Prince for example. He meditate on 1 Scripture 3 times a day and that was enough to see healing in his body.
Ps 107:20 says ‘He sent out his word and healed them;’. The Word heals.
For others, reading and meditating on the Word won’t be enough. I wonder if nervous system reguation has much to do with this.
Every organ of our body is linked to our nervous system so if it is dysregulated, particualry over a period of time, then we can’t ignore it if we’re wanting a healing.
I mention a handful of helpful areas that we need to look at if we think our nervous systems need to be brought back into balance.
Nervous system dysreguatlion is a massive area and I’m really not doing it justice in this post in and of itself. But I’m hoping that it will spark a little curiosity…
See WHAT IS THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM?
A. HEALTHY LIVING
So, you may think that what we put in our bodies doesn’t impact our soul and whether or not it will prosper. I don’t think that’s right.
How do you feel when you’re not sleeping? Irritable? Angy? Do you worry more?
(Image: Rebekah Ballagh Journey to Wellness)
Without a good night sleep our system’s suffer because we haven’t received the necessary REM sleep for rest and digest to happen..
What about your food intake and nutrition? I’m no dietician, but a diet full of fat and sugar contributes to lack of sleep, low self concept and hyperactivity. (Think of what children are like when they eat too many E numbers!).
B. LISTENING TO MY BODY
We live in a society that promotes rushing around, filling our days with productivity and keeping up with the Jones’s. Many times we override what’s good for us.
All of this puts pressure on our bodies, keeping it in a survival state. We feel the symptoms of depression, anxiety or just a general dis-ease.
These signals are trying to point to areas of our life that are harming us—they are messengers,
I was in a situation where I felt so uneasy and distressed after every time I met up with a friend. Feeling like this gave me instruction to end the friendship.
Had I acted sooner, I could have saved the friendship by speaking up earlier and putting in a boundary.
A lack of authenticity (habitually programming like perfectionism, people-pleasing for example) kick in when we over-ride our bodies and live more ‘in our heads’.
When I tune into my inner wisdom, I know when I reach my limits. My body will let me know, what is good or bad for my soul, not what is right for me according to the external.
I’m learning to tune into my body a bit more, treating it as my best friend, it’s on my side.
I believe this assists my soul to prosper.
Are there any thinking patterns or childhood programs in your life that need your attention?
C. UTILISE MY RESOURCES
What nourishes your soul and makes you feel good? This will be different for each of us.
For me, it’s sitting in nature or being outdoors. I love weighted blankets, hot water bottles, breathing activities, visualisations, spending time with friends, playing board games, the smell of coconut, a soak in the bath….
D. PAST AND PRESENT TRAUMAS
I had no idea that bad things in the past stay in our bodies, I guess you could say our bodies have a memory.
Part of my journey has been to identify anything in my world that is still bothering me, even on an unconsious level. It’s great that we have the Holy Sprit to help.
Traumas impact our souls because they distort how we see ourselves, others and the world around us. Trauma experts say that the way in which we deal with traumas, isn’t through talk therapy.
If traumas linger in our bodies, then it’s likely we need to work at a somatic level for them to heal, which is why listening to our bodies as I mentioned a moment ago, a long with feeling emotions (next point!) is so important to healing.
(I hope to write on trauma causing disease in more detail soon).
Whether a past emotion or a present one, I’m learning to allow the sensation to move through me so I can help your soul to prosper in this area?
These are some of the questions I ask myself:
What does it feel like? Where do you sense it? Does if have a shape or a colour? Is it heavy?…dense?…wavy?…does it have a boundary?… Here, you’re switching off your thinking brain and coming back down into your body.
Somatic tracking is a proven way to allow emotions to move through your body when they are ready to do so. Mindbody experts say that stored emotion contributes or even causes chronic illness.
We are conformed to repress, ignore or distract ourselves from emotions but by feeling them and allowing them (and not being afraid of them), we are welcoming them and allowing them to do what they need to do.
(Image: Rebekah Ballagh Journey to Wellness)
Emotions are E(nergy) in Motion. Emotions are designed to move.
Can you imagine the difference it would make to our world, if we understood that healing doesn’t fall from the sky; that there is a link between our souls and our bodies.
It’s only been in recent years that scientists discovered that there was a mindbody connection; yet the Bible implies it in this verse.
Whenever I read 3 John 1:2, I always think of those old fashioned weighing scales. God has said that to the extent our soul’s prosper, to that same extent our body’s heal.
Are you allowing your soul to prosper? Are there traumas or stresses from the past that are still haunting you? Do you know who you are in Christ?
What is your next step?
I hope this helps you today
Next, why don’t you take a read of
THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND